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Tiger Global buys into Wow! Momo for $23 million



KOLKATA: Private equity (PE) giant Tiger Global has picked up stake in city-based quick service restaurant (QSR) chain Wow! Momo. The New York-based PE major is investing $23 million as Series B funding. This has put valuation of Wow! Momo at Rs 860 crore ($120 million), one of the highest among QSR chains in the country. Tiger Global was one of the investors in Flipkart before its exit following the Walmart’s entry and has also invested in online grocery delivery service Grofers.

The QSR chain operates in two brands of restaurants — Wow Momo and Wow! China — across India. A PE industry veteran pointed out that Tiger Global investment is a significant scale-up from its Rs 300crore valuation which it had achieved after securing Rs 3 crore from Fabindia MD, William Bissel in 2018.

Speaking on the investment, Sagar Daryani, CEO & co-founder of Wow! China/Wow! Momo, said, “From running a handful of kiosks in Kolkata to becoming a brand operating in over 15 cities, our ‘Make-in-India’ journey has come a long way. We are super excited and thankful in welcoming Tiger Global on board and looking forward to leverage upon their global connects, experience and knowhow.”

He pointed out that this partnership is a big step forward in its endeavour to become an Indian origin QSR chain with an aim to go global in times to come. “We will smartly use the capital infused to further scale our operations backed with disruptive research and development (R&D) to reach out to a larger consumer base within the country. We are extremely grateful to Lighthouse Funds and IAN for backing us over the years and being super-supportive to our vision,” Daryani added.

Incepted in a garage by two students of St Xavier’s College with an initial investment of only Rs 30,000, the Kolkata-based startup has been dishing out momos and more, for the last few years now. With 282 outlets of Wow! Momo and 11 of its newest brand Wow! China, the company is now gearing up to expand more. The startup had launched its sister brand Wow! China in March 2019.

Daryani added that moving ahead, the company aims to be a platform for QSR play in India and also plans to unveil a range of packaged momo and momo sauce offerings, and will ultimately be working towards an IPO.

Wow! Momo Foods is projected to get to a topline of around Rs190 crore for FY2019-20. The company is currently clocking a monthly run rate of over Rs 15 crore per month and opening over 10 new stores every month. It has set a target of Rs 1,000crore turnover in the next four-five years.

Speaking on the investment, Scott Shleifer, partner & head of private equity at Tiger Global Management, said, “We are excited to partner with Wow! Momo, which has revolutionised the Indian QSR play. Wow! Momo is all set to become the face of Indian QSR on a global diaspora.”

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